The first hydrogen-powered fuel cell production vehicles will soon be arriving in the UK with the launch of the Hyundai ix35. Five of the groundbreaking vehicles will be part of the London Hydrogen Network Expansion (LNHE) project, which represents part of London’s goal to become a global center for hydrogen and fuel cell vehicle activity.
Hyundai, which is a supplier to the LHNE project, will join the existing consortium of companies with expertise in hydrogen transport infrastructure and operation, working to establish the UK’s first hydrogen transport network covering London and south east England. The ix35 fuel cell vehicles will be leased to key public and private fleet users.
Tony Whitehorn, President and CEO of Hyundai Motor UK, said: “Hydrogen delivers considerable environmental benefits and we are looking forward to working closely with the other partners to drive forward its widespread introduction.”
The hydrogen-powered ix35 uses an internal combustion engine, but with zero tailpipe emissions. It reaches 0-62 mph in 12.5 seconds and has a range of almost 370 miles. One of the larger issues preventing further adoption of fuel cell vehicles is the lack of refueling stations. Two hydrogen fuel stations are already open in the Capital and a third will be built as part of the London Hydrogen Network Expansion project. Three more fueling stations are planned by 2015.
Kit Malthouse, London Deputy Mayor for Business and Enterprise and Chairman of the London Hydrogen Partnership, said: “The work of the London Hydrogen Partnership and other projects has really catapulted London towards the forefront of the move to a hydrogen future.”